Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday November 11, 2009

Each day we go to a place that has been pre-chosen by Esperanza. The places and people are chosen because of the work they are doing with Esperanza. These people are working to better their lives and the lives of those in their community. Esperanza not only is hoping to help the poor make money through micro-loans, but also teach them how to be community leaders. The skills they learn while running their businesses will hopefully transfer to their personal lives. For example: On Monday we worked in a very poor Batay, and while the group was setting up the work stations inside the villagers started a minor riot outside. The riot was started when the villagers started to fight about who from the community would be getting dental work done. One of the women in the village who had received money from Esperanza, and been running a business of her own for the past six months, stepped up and started to organize everyone. She took control of the riot and her newly found leadership skills started to show. That is the kind of leadership that Esperanza hopes to teach. So, when our dental team arrives at the site to work the people who have worked to better their own lives are the first people that we tend to.

When we first arrive - the dental team spends about an hour setting up all the gear. While we are setting up the work stations Patricia Gonzalas (Esperanza) begins to hand out tickets to all of the villagers. These tickets provide a way for us to organize who has been seen and what needs they have.

Once the stations have been set up and everyone in the village has been given a number our dental team "huddles" inside our work area. We have been privileged to hear each day from Dominican business owners who have taken loans form the Bank of Hope and Esperanza. These three women, who we heard from today, own a clothing business in the Batay.

After the morning huddle the dental work beings. Outside the building Manuel King (Esperanza) teaches everyone in the waiting area the ins-and-outs of tooth care. He has songs, games, and models to help teach parents and kids how to take care of their teeth.

When a villager’s number is called they are sent to our hygiene area where they receive a cleaning and an evaluation. The hygienists consist of both American workers and Dominican dental students.

The hygienists mark on each patients ticket what kind of work they believe the dentists should do (extractions, fillings, restoration). Our American dentists are working side by side with Dominican Republic dentists. There is one Dominican Dentists our group couldn't live without - Dr. Coby. She has bailed out all of our doctors on numerous occasions when they can't extract a tooth.

If a patients needs pain medication or antibiotics Dr. Patricia Diaz (Esperanza) will take care of their needs.

On the rare occasion a patient needs cosmetic care they are turned over to our very own Dr. Roy Michaelangelo Hammond. Cosmetic care for a person here can help them find work that they could not otherwise get.

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